Simranjit Kaur 'gold medal' prospect for India at Tokyo 2020: National Selector V Devarajan

Simranjit Kaur recently settled for a silver medal at the 35th Boxam International Boxing Tournament in Castellon
By Samrat Chakraborty

Venkatesan Devarajan, who represented India at the 1992 Olympics and has trained a lot of boxers, believes the growth of boxing in the country will be on show at Tokyo 2020.

A record nine boxers - five men and four women - have qualified across for the Tokyo Olympics, which is slated to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021, and Devarajan is optimistic about their chance at the games.

"India have a chance to clinch 2-3 medals in boxing at Tokyo Olympics. This time the (Indian) boxers have got a lot of exposure. Manish Kaushik is doing well, even in the heavyweight categories we have a got chance," Devarajan told the Olympic Channel.

As a national selector, who was also nominated as one of the five members of the Talent Identification Development Committee of Khelo India Development Programme for boxing, Devarajan has observed the Indian boxers closely and is mighty impressed with the skill set possessed by lightweight category boxer Simranjit Kaur.

V Devarajan at Senior National Boxing Championship (Courtesy: olympicdeva/Twitter)

"In the women's Simranjit Kaur, is a very good gold (medal) prospect for us (India). She is talented and intelligent. Her game play is excellent. Those who have a proper game will have the confidence to handle any opponent," the 1994 World Boxing Championship bronze medallist said.

"In the last few years, there has been a combined camp organized among countries, it was not the same case previously. 8-9 countries are practicing together and it will help in gaining good experience. There is a great chance for many more medals," he added.

Kaur will feature in the women's 60kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. Her recent performance at the 35th Boxam International Boxing Tournament in Castellon, where she clinched a silver medal, was a testament to her potential. She had to settle for the silver as she couldn't take the ring for the final bout after her semi-final opponent Kiria Tapia of Puerto Rico tested positive for Covid-19.

The 25-year-old, who hails from Chakar in Punjab, is also a light welterweight silver medallist in the 2019 Asian Championships and won a bronze medal in the 2018 World Championships.